Jonathan McGovern
Baritone

"What makes him special? A beautifully focused and warmly virile voice... great musical sensitivity... and an instantly winning and communicative personality." (The Telegraph, January 2012)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Clare Erskine +44 (0)20 3725 9145

Biography

A graduate of King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music, Jonathan McGovern has since distinguished himself as a young artist of great promise

His recent engagements have included an outstanding debut as Junior in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with Ensemble Modern under Kent Nagano at the Konzerthaus Berlin – a role he will reprise this season in Dortmund and Dresden. He also sang the role of Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy at the 2013 Verbier Festival under Charles Dutoit. Further appearances have included the title roles in Il ritorno d’Ulisse under Christian Curnyn and Telemann’s Orpheus under Ian Page at the London

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A graduate of King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music, Jonathan McGovern has since distinguished himself as a young artist of great promise

His recent engagements have included an outstanding debut as Junior in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with Ensemble Modern under Kent Nagano at the Konzerthaus Berlin – a role he will reprise this season in Dortmund and Dresden. He also sang the role of Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy at the 2013 Verbier Festival under Charles Dutoit. Further appearances have included the title roles in Il ritorno d’Ulisse under Christian Curnyn and Telemann’s Orpheus under Ian Page at the London Handel Festival.

At English National Opera Jonathan has featured in three world premieres including Julian Anderson’s Thebans under Ed Gardner, Nico Muhly’s Two Boys under Rumon Gamba and Michel van der Aa’s The Sunken Garden under André de Ridder, amongst other productions. This season he returns in Richard Jones’ new production of The Girl of the Golden West under Keri-Lynn Wilson.

Further highlights this season include the Podium der Jungen series with the NDR Radiophilharmonieand Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniel Cohen.

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Audio

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Clare Erskine +44 (0)20 3725 9145

Reviews

"Jonathan McGovern's burnished baritone embraces both the heroism of Ulysses and the emotional torture of this culminating episode of his odyssey." (Rian Evans, The Guardian, July 2014)

"There are some formidable voices on display… Jonathan McGovern’s dynamically sung Ulysses, who offers plenty of presence." (George Hall, The Stage, July 2014)

"Jonathan McGovern as the wandering hero Ulysses who brought a powerful baritone which also could spin a line with ease." (Sue Loder, Opera Today, July 2014)

“The cast was dominated by Chritopher Purves’ and Jonathan McGovern’s tortured portrayals, respectively, of Sam and Junior.” (Carlos Maria Solare, Opera, March 2014)

“… the excellent singers,

...

"Jonathan McGovern's burnished baritone embraces both the heroism of Ulysses and the emotional torture of this culminating episode of his odyssey." (Rian Evans, The Guardian, July 2014)

"There are some formidable voices on display… Jonathan McGovern’s dynamically sung Ulysses, who offers plenty of presence." (George Hall, The Stage, July 2014)

"Jonathan McGovern as the wandering hero Ulysses who brought a powerful baritone which also could spin a line with ease." (Sue Loder, Opera Today, July 2014)

“The cast was dominated by Chritopher Purves’ and Jonathan McGovern’s tortured portrayals, respectively, of Sam and Junior.” (Carlos Maria Solare, Opera, March 2014)

“… the excellent singers, among them a particularly lovely Adam and Eve from Jonathan McGovern and Charlotte Beament….” (Neil Fisher, The Times, December 2013)

“Claudia Boyle (Dede), Jonathan McGovern (Junior) and Christopher Purves (Sam) sing impressively.” (Peter Uehling, Berliner Zeitung, November 2013)

“The Konzerthaus performance shows that the new version for chamber orchestra is an excellent idea, though it has to be said that we were spoilt with a cast, conductor and ensemble which could not have been bettered. Also from a theatrical point of view. Although dressed in concert attire, the soloists left a shattering mark on the audience with their portrayal of a damaged family: above all the young baritone Jonathan McGovern.” (Matthias Nöther, Berliner Morgenpost, November 2013)

“Jonathan McGovern delivered an accomplished performance, both vocally and dramatically, of Junior’s pathological outbursts.” (Ursula Wiegand, Der Neue Merker, November 2013)

“Jonathan McGovern, the ardent-voiced lost IT man, was a real discovery. A sudden change of mood and pace occurred when McGovern's character, Simon, sings a lament for his baby, a cot death victim. This was a powerful aria: one of opera's most traditional ingredients leapt out of all the hypertech and cyberworld frippery and ambushed us completely, no 3D specs required. Yearning and weeping, his suffering was all the more piercing for its control and lyricism.”  (Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, April 2013, on English National Opera's production of Sunken Garden)

"The opera’s three live singers were superb. Two singers on film, Jonathan McGovern and Kate Miller-Heidke, were equally compelling. Mr. McGovern was a heartbreaking Simon. (Steve Smith, The New York Times, April 2013)

"McGovern brings an earnest beauty to everything he sings." (Roderic Dunnett, The Arts Desk, March 2013)

"Jonathan McGovern sounded superb in the tiny part of Yamadori." (Opera Magazine, July 2012)

"[...] while Jonathan McGovern made much of Prince Yamadori’s brief role, offering sincerity and a fine rounded tone." (Opera Britannia, May 2012)

"What makes him special? Not just his beautifully focused and warmly virile voice, matched to great musical sensitivity, but also that rarest of attributes – an instantly winning and communicative personality." (The Telegraph, January 2012)

"Others making their mark included Jonathan McGovern, whose Sid was spledidly sung and acted." (Opera Magazine, January 2012)

"McGovern's baritone rang out strong and clear. . . [In] Dover Beach, McGovern established a more sombre presence now, imbuing the lyrical, unfolding vocal lines with emotional depth and sensitivity. . .McGovern's commitment to the text was sustained and intense, as he sought to do justice to the composer's detailed word painting, without over-emphasis or undue theatricality. . . maintained a quiet intensity throughout. . .[In] 'An die Geliebte'...McGovern achieved a rapt intensity here, the silvery tone of his upper range wonderfully capturing the shimmer of the glistening nocturnal sky." (Opera Today, Dec 2011)

"'...dragging cosy Jubilee Hall kicking and screaming into the new studio space Mears was at once looking to a future exemplified by Jonathan McGovern’s slick, vaguely rocker-boy, Sid (quite the star of the show not least from a vocal point of view)." (The Independent, October 2011)

"'Everyone else was barely out of college but delivering some seriously accomplished performances – especially Jonathan McGovern's Sid and Maria Friselier's Nancy.'" (The Telegraph, October 2011)

"'Three baritones were first class:.... Even stronger was the incisive, commanding Jonathan McGovern, 25, who sang Britten's 'Billy in the Darbies' from Billy Budd with blazing sincerity and infused a Rachmaninov song with palpitating passion... I would have plumped for McGovern as winner..." (The Telegraph, May 2011)

"Binding and offsetting this principal group are a pool of smaller roles, from which Jonathan McGovern's chameleon baritone stood out - or rather he didn't, decorously sublimating himself into his functional roles, including the voice of the Chinese father-puppet." (Framescourer, March 2011)

Discography

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